Every time I try to explain what it is like to have D and what it takes to deal with it on a daily basis I get that deer in the headlights look. The thing is I can understand that response. As hard as it can be to explain it is even harder to understand, Even if the person is genuinely interested. The explanation can get too long and involved. So I came up with this little analogy to try out on my next encounter. See what you think. Do you have one of your own?
Imagine your body is a highly sophisticated machine consisting of hundreds of specialized interdependent systems. These systems include computers, drives, sensory, conversion and regulating systems to name just a few. All of the systems require a specialized fuel which is created by simply loading the tank with any digestible organic material you wish to use. This fuel must be delivered at a constant and specific level to assure proper function and maintenance. Too little and systems begin to misfire and shut down. Too much and they will also begin to physically break down. Fortunately one of the on board systems automatically takes care of the fuel ratio no matter the quality of the material used.
What happens when the system that regulates this fuel malfunctions or quits working altogether? Somehow you must manually regulate the ratio yourself. This means you must anticipate both the conversion rate and rate of use. The quantity, timing and quality of the raw material becomes critical in calculating these rates. Constant monitoring is required to ensure proper, safe function and to avoid permanent damage. Once this condition occurs it becomes a 24/7, 365 endeavor.
Just as each body is different so is the management of this condition. Also, many things can affect the stability of the fuel ratio, including environment, stress and illness. Therefore, there are no one size fits all simple answers for management. What works for one person may not work for another. Similarly, what works today may not work the same tomorrow. Rarely, if ever, is this condition reversible.